Highland Conquest (The Sons of Gregor MacLeod, #2) by Alyson McLayne
Series: The Sons of Gregor MacLeod, #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
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HE WAS LOOKING FOR VENGEANCE
Laird Lachlan MacKay never planned on leading his clan, but when his older brother was murdered, he was left with no choice. His vow to avenge his brother has led him to the MacPherson clan—and their bewitching healer, Amber.
INSTEAD HE FOUND HER
Amber MacPherson is desperate. Dressed as a boy to escape her clan's treacherous leader, she runs right into Lachlan—who orders her detained. At first she causes him nothing but frustration, especially when she blackmails him into helping her clan. But when she's threatened by the same man who murdered his brother, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and by his side.
The most I can say about Highland Conquest is it was…a Scottish romance. There were a few nice moments, but overall it didn’t leave much of an impression on me.
Amber MacPherson is an interesting character. She was abused (TW: for threats of rape) and held captive, but she managed to escape by sneaking out of the MacPherson keep dressed as a boy. She happens to be escaping just as Lachlan MacKay is doing a sneak attack on the castle, and not knowing quite who or what she is, he captures her. When the truth comes out and the villain escapes, Lachlan takes over the MacPherson clan temporarily, and they both try to figure out how to stop the bad guy.
I liked Amber, at least in theory. She’s a healer and she’s very good at it. I like that she quickly and competently helps Lachlan’s clan, even at first when he’s not sure he can trust her. She knows her herbs and medical treatments, at least what passes for medical treatments at this point in history, and she’s calm under pressure. She’s a bit wishy washy and naive, but largely that was due to the trauma she experienced for most of her life. Lachlan is ok too, I suppose. He’s brawny and tough and Scottish, you know the drill. He has some decent chemistry with Amber, but they move somewhat slowly, partly due to her inexperience and partly due to her past. Things don’t really heat up significantly until fairly late in the book, although it was sweet and sexy.
This isn’t my first book in the series (though you don’t need to read the first one to enjoy this one), and one of the best parts of the series is the interactions between the adopted brothers who were all raised by Gregor MacLeod. We get to see Gregor and the other brothers in this book, and their interactions are excellent. There is some great family banter, but I especially enjoy that the men discuss their feelings and relationships. It’s fun to read.
Otherwise, though, this book didn’t stand out that much for me. The villain is over-the-top and wily past the point of believability. There’s also a bit I didn’t like where Amber and Lachlan are essentially railroaded into marrying. Sure, deep down they DO want to get married, but I wanted them to come to the conclusion themselves rather than getting pushed into it.
Honestly, writing this review I had a hard time coming up with anything I particularly liked or didn’t like about this book. This book scratched my itch for a Scottish romance, but that’s about all I can say.
Grade: 3 out of 5